“While you may not have chosen your current situation, you can still use this time to your advantage,” Keith Wolf, managing director of Houston recruiting and staffing firm Murray Resources, said in an email on Thursday.
Wolf explained that the pandemic can bring clarity about your career goals and interests.
“Perhaps you’ve been in a career that is less than fulfilling. Or you’ve been looking to switch industries. Without the current pandemic, you may not have had the time or the inclination to reevaluate your career and how you want to move forward,” he said.
Wolf said if you are thinking of pivoting careers, start with evaluating your strengths and what you truly enjoy doing.
“Write down everything you liked about your previous role(s) and what you would prefer not to do going forward. Every job has drawbacks, so don’t try to find the perfect role, but it’s important that you understand what fulfills you and how you are motivated,” he wrote.
Once you have a set of target roles and companies, Wolf suggests you reach out to executives and managers in those roles and let them know you’re just looking to learn about their industry.
“Treat it as information gathering and don’t ask for anything beyond five minutes of their time. You won’t hear back from everyone you contact, but if you send out enough messages, you will start having conversations that will lend clarity to your search.”
The key is to continue the momentum.
“You’re learning and you’re making progress towards your end goal of landing your next role.”
Remember, giving your résumé a boost means asking for help.
“The first step to improving your résumé is having the confidence to ask for help,” Wolf said. “You may be surprised how many top executives have their résumé professionally written by an executive résumé writer.”
Wolf’s advice to those who are unemployed is to use this time to continue to level-up your skills with certifications and online classes that are relevant to your current or desired industry.
“CourseHorse, Udemy, Coursera, Edx, and Khan Academy are just a few of the online platforms that offer online learning, many of which are free. Universities such as Harvard offer a number of free courses,” he said.
Wolf recommends looking at software tools that are essential to your industry. Some companies offer free courses to encourage the adoption and use of their software/programs.
“As difficult and time consuming as job searching may be, don’t give up, Wolf said.
“Think of your job search like baseball – you may swing and miss, but it only takes one hit to get on base. The next pitch (job) could be the one that is meant for you.”